Common foot problems faced by children

It is not normal for a child to feel pain in their ankle or foot. “Growing pains” are a myth. In fact, any pain that lasts longer than a couple of days, or is strong enough to restrict the child’s walking, needs to be treated by an ankle and foot surgeon.

Here are some common foot problems faced by children:

  1. Flatfoot – there are no symptoms of flat feet. However, at times the child may have problem participating in physical sports or activities, or appear to run or walk uncomfortably. Some children complain of cramping or pain in their legs, feet, or knees. Any difficulty or pain with the feet of a child must be evaluated immediately.
  2. Sever's disease – this is an extremely painful inflammation of the heel’s growth plate. It normally affects children within the age bracket of eight and fourteen, because the heel bone is still developing till age fourteen. Due to too much repetitive pressure on the growth plate, tenderness begins to develop.
  3. Ingrown toenails - Tight socks or shoes, or improper nail trimming are the most prevalent causes of ingrown toenails. Although the tendency for toe nails to curve inwardly can also be ascribed to genes. If the toe nail starts to break the skin, it can cause severe infections. It is advised never to dig the child’s nail out immaturely at home; getting it treated by a qualified doctor is the best idea.
  4. Plantar wart- Warts can easily develop at any area of the foot, but normally they appear at the bottom of the foot. These warts, which can be caused due to human papilloma virus are more common on adolescents and children. Planter warts grow deep inside the skin, and can make standing or walking very painful.
Some precautions to take:

Here are a few precautions that you must take to ensure your child enjoys good health:

Choosing the right shoes:

When children are less than five years of age, their feet grow very quickly, and it's extremely important that their bones develop straight. The bones at the time of birth are very soft. If they are restricted by tight socks or shoes, they can't grow properly. Therefore, it is really important that socks and shoes are the correct size.

Shoes with buckle, laces, or a Velcro are a good option as they help in holding the heel in place and stopping from damaging the toes. 

Care for foot and nails:

After you have washed the child’s feet, make sure you dry them well, especially in between the toes. Also, when cutting their nails, cut across straight to avoid the possibility of ingrown toenails.

As children grow, some of the conditions mentioned above correct themselves without requiring treatment. However, others may become severe if not treated on time. It is best to see a professional to make sure your child’s growth remains healthy.


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